Dec 9, 2014

RhoDeo 1449 Roots

Hello, for those that believed the 'conviction' of Pistorius was a fluke of the South African justice system, faith has been restored that money rules in South Africa. That rich nasty freak, Dewani could hardly believe he was aquitted from having his wife murdered because the killers he hired were a bunch of nincompoops therefor their statements useless, very good madam judge-expect your financial reward in due time... Troublesome country South Africa...

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Etoile De Dakar was one of the most influential bands to come out of Senegal. They helped to lay the foundation for mbalax, a dance-inspiring mixture of African, Caribbean, and pop rhythms. Led by influential vocalist Youssou N'Dour, the band crafted a modern, urban sound that elevated them to the upper echelon of West African music. Their cassettes, later released as seven CDs, were major hits in their homeland. In addition to N'Dour, the group featured bassist, keyboardist, and arranger Habib Faye, lead guitarist Mamadou "Jimi" Mbaye, and percussionists Assane Thiam and Babacur Faye.

The roots of the Etoile De Dakar were planted in 1960 when Ibra Kasse, owner of the Miami Club in Dakar, assembled members of two bands -- Guinea Band De Dakar and Star Band De Senui -- and created a supergroup, known initially as The Star Band.  The Star Band de Dakar was formed to celebrate the independence of Senegal, but not only did it see the birth of a country, it also ushered in a new wave of local bands who played Cuban dance music. The Star Band -- not to be confused with the Etoile de Dakar to which it gave birth -- has seen many great musicians join its ranks, most notably Youssou N'Dour. Although it reached its apex with the arrival of Youssou in 1975, The Star Band splintered three years later when several members left with N'Dour to form Etoile De Dakar. Famous for launching Youssou N'Dour's career, but these guys were much more than that. Leading the group allowed N'Dour to launch his career as Senegal's first pop star, and after he relocated to Paris in 1983 and Étoile de Dakar broke up, he continued calling his band Super Étoile de Dakar.

Playing the Latin-influenced dance music that was popular throughout Africa at the time, Étoile de Dakar quickly became one of the city's most popular bands and went on to record in Paris with producer Ibrahim Sylla and had a track on the Island Records compilation Sound d’Afrique, which was important in bringing African music to western ears in 1981. Touring Europe for the first time in 1984, the group performed its debut concert in North America the following year. Relocating to Paris in 1983, the group changed its name to Super Etoile.

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The Birth Of Mbalax 1979-1981

On one level the 2CDs of ‘Once Upon A Time In Senegal’ form a chapter in the story of who Youssou N’Dour is and how he got there. But on another they show him simply as an equal member of a band … a band in the right place at the right time and doing the right things. That brief but vital moment in time is captured in these 23 tracks selected from the cassettes that Etoile de Dakar recorded between 1979 and 1981.

Etoile de Dakar had the good fortune to emerge shortly after the technology to mass produce cheap, cassette-only albums reached Senegal, enabling emerging artists to achieve some measure of independence from the old-time labels and their financiers. Etoile recorded six such albums between 1979-81: Absa Gueye, Thiapathioly, Tolou Badou N'Diaye, Lay Suma Lay, Khaley Etoile and Maleo, all self-produced and released on the Touba Auto Cassettes label. (Artists had to move fast though; official releases would be followed by even cheaper pirate versions within days).

To sum up these Etoiles in one word is impossible, the rhythm section's groove feels like it's going to accelerate the earth. the guitar, sax, tama drum leads and singing push this over the top. The sax in particular is almost as enjoyable just as Youssou N'Dour's famed singing. There is more than one sax player credited in the notes (which by the way are excellent), but clearly there's one of them that's very, very good.
Several have never been released outside of Senegal, and all have been sensitively re-mastered from the earliest available audio source. These are the best sounding recordings of this material available … bar none!

Etoile De Dakar - Once Upon a Time in Senegal (79-80)  (flac  472mb)

01 Thiely 5:10
02 Dom Sou Nare Bakh 5:10
03 Esta China 5:03
04 Mane Khouma Khol Thi Yao 4:51
05 Jalo 6:26
06 Absa Gueye 5:21
07 Thiapa Thioly 12:01
08 Dagotte 7:24
09 Dounya 6:44
10 Diandioli 5:45
11 Kine Kine 4:47
12 M'Badane 7:57

Etoile De Dakar - Once Upon a Time in Senegal (79-80) (ogg  208mb)


Etoile De Dakar - Once Upon a Time in Senegal (80-81)  (flac  462mb)

01 Tolou Badou N'Diaye 6:59
02 Nit Kou N'Gnoul 6:42
03 Yalaye Dogal 6:08
04 My Wa Wa 8:18
05 Lay Suma Lay 4:09
06 Diankha Demal 6:42
07 Khaley Étoile 7:38
08 Sama Guenth-Gui 7:18
09 M'Baye Gueye 7:29
10 Titeur 6:41
11 Maleo 6:36

Etoile De Dakar - Once Upon a Time in Senegal (80-81) (ogg 197mb )

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There's been a back-to-acoustic-roots trend among African artists recently, and even the big names don't seem exempt. Salif Keita's done it, and here Youssou N'Dour's at it -- which proves to be no bad thing. His recent output has been quite schizophrenic, divided between albums aimed at a Western audience and those for his native Senegal, with the more hardcore m'balax sound that made him popular in the first place reserved for the African releases. While the easy melodies of Nothing's in Vain (Coono Du Réér) place it far more within the Afro-pop category than much of his previous work, it's still a real gem, bringing in traditional musicians alongside his band, as on the opening "Tan Bi," which works gorgeously, the harp-like kora intersecting with N'Dour's rhythm section. The keening griot wail which has typified so much of his work is absent here, allowing for more subtlety of infection and tone. While that might be a bit of a necessity as he grows older, it also reinforces the fact that Youssou is one of the world's great singers, capable of wrapping and communicating emotion in a note or phrase -- even if you don't understand a word of Wolof (or French, since several of the pieces, like his version of "Il N'Ya Pas D'Amour Heureux," are in French). And when he does break into English, on "Look This Way" and "Africa, Dream Again," it's not the ridiculous, gushing lyrics that have appeared on some of his more recent discs. Yes, there are too many lush keyboards for it to fully qualify as a true acoustic release, and the low-key tamas juddering across "Yaru" do sometimes make you wish the band would kick into high gear, but overall this is N'Dour's most focused and accomplished disc in a long time. Maybe it's a new path, maybe it's a breathing space while he decides what to do next, maybe he just wanted a change. Whatever the reason, it works.

Youssou N'Dour - Nothing's in Vain (Coono du Réér)  (flac  357mb)

01 Tan Bi 3:59
02 Moor Ndaje 4:15
03 Li Ma Weesu 3:54
04 Genné 4:09
05 La Femme Est L'Avenir De L'Amour 3:51
06 Mbëggëël Noonu La 4:59
07 Il N'y A Pas D'Amour Heureux 2:15
08 Sagal Ko 3:36
09 C'est L'Amour 3:43
10 Doole 5:50
11 So Many Men 5:14
12 Yaru 4:15
13 Africa, Dream Again 3:13

Youssou N'Dour - Nothing's in Vain (Coono du Réér)  (ogg 134mb)

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